How long do you work without a break?

posted 8 months ago in Career
  • poll: How long do you work before allowed to take a break?
    I can take breaks whenever needed without question : (87 votes)
    76 %
    I can take a break every hour : (1 votes)
    1 %
    I can take a break after/every two hours of work : (4 votes)
    4 %
    I can take a break after/every three hours work : (3 votes)
    3 %
    I can take a break after/every four hours of work : (7 votes)
    6 %
    I can take a break after/every 5 hours of work : (2 votes)
    2 %
    I can take a break after/every 6 hours of work : (4 votes)
    4 %
    I can take breaks after 7+ hours of work : (2 votes)
    2 %
    I am not permitted to : (4 votes)
    4 %
  • Post # 16
    8399 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: Dorset, UK

    I am salaried and in the UK, private sector and can take a break for the loo, coffee, games machines, mooch about whenever I want, on top of my hour lunch break. 

    Post # 17
    1505 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2018 - Location

    I’m a teacher so I can’t just leave a class of students. 

    We have two periods in the morning, hour lunch, and two periods in the afternoon. I usually go at lunch or sneak between periods. 

    Post # 18
    3737 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 2014

    I’m a teacher and voted every 3 hours simply because the way my schedule falls. I start work at 8 and lunch is at 11:30 – 12, so that’s my first break. My planning period is then at 2:15-3:40. We have 80 min class periods, so I can run to the restroom between classes (5 min) but its not exactly a break.

    Post # 19
    270 posts
    Helper bee

    I work from home so I take breaks whenever I want, but it’s usually 5-6 hours before I take a real break, if that (unless it’s a really quiet day) – meaning not just running to the bathroom or getting a coffee. I usually continue working while I eat. 

    When I am in the office, we have a 1 hour lunch break (I work through it if I’m not in a meeting or training a class). Usually in our meetings/classes we take a 15 minute break every 2 hours and a 45 minute lunch. I tend to schedule breaks every 1.5 hours when I’m teaching though because I drink sooo much water when Im teaching lol. Other employees who aren’t based remotely take breaks whenever they want, especially the smokers who are outside for 10 minutes every hour! 

    Our unionized staff get a 15 min break every 2 hours and 30 mins for lunch.  


    Post # 20
    1074 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2019

    I’m salaried and work in an office. I can take a break whenever I want. I’m not really monitored. I mean, people would notice if I disappeared for hours a day, but I can get up, go to the bathroom, make coffee, take a walk outside, make a quick trip to Tim Hortons, whatever, whenever I want. We also get an hour lunch break, but that’s not strictly monitored either so if I have an appointment or something during lunch, I can take a longer lunch break.

    Technically speaking, we are required to have our hour break (not paid), as well as two 15 minute breaks during the 8 hours we work. I’m not really sure if that is required by law, or if that’s just based on the rules at my job. But that’s not really enforced, as in you can work all day if you want, or you could take 15-minute breaks every 2 hours, and no one would notice or care. As long as you get your work done, that is. We do have periods where we get busy, so I take less breaks then. But we also have periods where we aren’t busy AT ALL, so then I take frequent breaks just because I get restless lol.

    Post # 21
    9728 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: City, State

    I can do whatever I want and am encouraged to take breaks. But I work in an administrative position. 

    Some days I work from the time I hit the door to the time I go home with only a break to pee – but that’s just because I’m busy. 

    Post # 22
    224 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2017

    I’m a nurse on a busy medsurg floor so lol what’s a break?! 😛but I’m supposed to get a half hour unpaid break once a 12 hour shift. Isn’t that nice? 

    Post # 23
    4492 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I work a pretty standard office job, so I can take a bathroom break or similar whenever I want, as long as I keep up with my work. We also get a company-mandated 30-min lunch break (actual timing of lunch is up to us).

    If the weather’s nice, I usually take a 20-30 minute “walk break” in the afternoons. I figure if some of my coworkers can miss at least that much time each day for their smoke breaks, I can too for a healthier reason! 

    Post # 24
    2635 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2016

    I work in an office as a salaried employee.  Like many others said, I go to the bathroom and get coffee or water whenever I want, but I don’t think I’ve ever once taken a true 15 minute break to relax or go on a walk or something.

    Post # 25
    1572 posts
    Bumble bee

    Omg I could not work that long without a break. I would pee my pants. I think this is a terrible OH&S practice and you work in the health industry?!

    Post # 26
    2014 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: April 2018

    I can do what I want, when I want. 

    My office doesn’t care, we get up and take walks, go to the bathroom, go talk to someone, get food. As long as our job is done, no one cares. 

    Post # 27
    7613 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    otterbee :  I don’t think this is an issue of hourly vs salary a lot of the time. I’m a paralegal which is, by law, an hourly position. Every firm I’ve worked at treats me like a salaried employee. I don’t punch a clock, I take breaks when I need too, and so long as the work gets done and my billing is good no one cares if I have to shift my schedule a bit sometimes to accomodate childcare or appointments. However, I know our receptionist has set scheduled bathroom breaks because she needs a secretary to come cover the phones for her. 

    Post # 28
    96 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: November 2020

    I’m hourly at a clinic and hospital. At the clinic I’m actually much busier, crammed with back to back patients, but I will go to the bathroom between patients as needed even if I’m behind schedule. Idk. It’s not emergency medicine there and I’m an adult so I’ll use the restroom/change my tampon when I need and if management has a problem honestly they can fire me. I’m expected to take a true clocked out break for 30 minutes to an hour every 8 hour shift. I normally clock out for around 45 minutes. At the hospital the flow is much more unpredictable. I could be working non-stop and not get lunch until 2pm but at some point in my shift it will slow down and I’ll get to rest even if its after being on my feet for 8 hours lol i work 12 hour shifts there and get a 30 minute break deducted from my day automatically. Generally I end up with more rest time than that though. I couldn’t work at a place where I felt chastised or looked down on for doing my business when needed. 

    Post # 29
    2500 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    otterbee :  OP, I would strongly encourage you to research your state’s labor laws (if you are in the US; federal laws are the bare minimum and most states have their own wage/labor laws), or your province/country’s labor laws. Just because an employer is doing something a certain way, doesn’t mean that it’s legal. In California (and many other states), meal breaks and rest breaks are legally mandated.

    Also, could you ask the receptionist or intake nurse to give you a 5 minute cushion 1-2x per day between patients? Assuming the pediatric patients are supervised by a parent/guardian in the waiting room, waiting for an extra few minutes should not be an issue. 



    Post # 30
    2917 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2018

    otterbee :  That would stress me out, I drink a TON of water through the day so I pee a lot.

    I can get up and go to the bathroom whenever I want, run to get coffee, run an errand, etc. I don’t take advantage of this and most days I’m in the office all day except for my lunch hour where I’ll either run errands or grab food if I didn’t bring it in with me.

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